Daily Archives: 15 April, 2018

1944 Vaso Cubrilovic: The Minority Problem in the New Yugoslavia: Memorandum

“The Minority Problem in the New Yugoslavia,” is a second memorandum on the Albanians (and other minorities) written by the noted Bosnian Serb scholar and political figure Vaso Cubrilovic (1897-1990). As a student in 1914, Cubrilovic had participated in the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, the event which precipitated the First World War. Between the two wars, he was professor at the Faculty of Arts in Belgrade. A leading member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art, Cubrilovic also held several ministerial portfolios after World War II. Among his writings is the monograph “Istorija politicke misle u Srbiji XIX veka,” Belgrade 1958 (History of political thought in Serbia in the 19th century).

 

1944 Bedri Pejani: Letter to Heinrich Himmler

The Kosovo Albanian political figure Bedri bey Pejani (1885-1946) was born in Peja. He attended Robert College in Constantinople and studied history at the University of Constantinople. Pejani took part in the declaration of Albanian independence in Vlora in November 1912, being then elected to the senate. He was one of the instigators of the Kosovo Defence Committee (1918-1924) and represented Kosovo at the Conference of Versailles in 1919. From 1921 to 1923, he was a member of the Albanian parliament and head of the People’s Party. He fled Albania in late 1924 when Ahmet Zogu took power, and joined the left-wing forces of the National Revolutionary Committee, Konare (“Komiteti Nacional Revolucionar”) abroad until 1927. Pejani later founded the Committee for the Liberation of Kosovo (“Komiteti i Çlirimit të Kosovës, KÇK”) and was sentenced to death in absentia by the Zogu government. In 1941-1943, he was interned by the Italians but was released after Italy’s capitulation, and returned to the Balkans. Assisted by the German emissary Franz von Schweiger, Bedri Pejani and Xhafer Deva set up the Second League of Prizren aimed at protecting Greater Albania, which was now in jeopardy. In Kosovo in 1944, Pejani and the Second League of Prizren, which he headed from January to June of that year, were responsible in good part for the ethnic cleansing of some 40,000 Serbs from Kosovo by April of that year. Hermann Neubacher, German special representative for southeastern Europe, referred to him as mad or crazed, and used his own influence, unsuccessfully, to have Pejani arrested by the regency government in Tirana. Pejani was captured by the communists in Albania in 1945, handed over to the Yugoslav authorities, and sentenced to death. He was, however, released, but died soon thereafter at Prizren hospital in July 1946. In this document, Bedri Pejani appeals to Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler, for support to set up an Albanian army to fight the advancing communist partisans. Nothing came of the project.

 

1937 Vaso Cubrilovic: The Expulsion of the Albanians – Memorandum

“The Expulsion of the Albanians,” is a memorandum prepared and written by the noted Bosnian Serb scholar and political figure Vaso Cubrilovic (1897-1990). As a student in 1914, Cubrilovic had participated in the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, the event which precipitated the First World War. Between the two wars, he was professor at the Faculty of Arts in Belgrade. A leading member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art, Cubrilovic also held several ministerial portfolios after World War II. Among his writings is the monograph “Istorija politicke misle u Srbiji XIX veka,” Belgrade 1958 (History of political thought in Serbia in the 19th century).